I missed last week's installment of where the scouts were, but for those interested New York Giants scouts were, according to Chris Steuber, at the Indiana at Northwestern game, the Clemson at Boston College game, and the South Carolina at Kentucky game.This might be entirely insignificant, but last week was the third time of the year the Giants went to a South Carolina game.
This week, according to Steuber, Giants' scouts are attending four games: UConn at Rutgers, Illinois at Wisconsin, Florida State at North Carolina State, and Nebraska at Ohio State.
Let's take a look at this week's games. I'm a big proponent of the Giants going heavy on defense in the upcoming draft and if they are looking defense early in the draft Florida State at North Carolina State offers a lot of potential picks.
Florida State at North Carolina State
I love Florida State Seminoles cornerback Xavier Rhodes. He was a major recruit heading into college and has not disappointed. He hasn't taken the quantum leap to the point where he is the most dominant defensive player in College football, like some thought he could be, but he's a first round talent easy. He is built like a safety, but is athletic enough to play cornerback very well.
With Osi Umenioyra likely leaving the Giants after this season we should be cognizant of defensive line talent. The Seminoles have some big-time talent along the defensive line. German born Bjoern Werner is a stud, however I'm not sure he has the length the Giants favor in pass rushers, but his teammate Cornellius Carradine is the type of long athletic player the Giants covet. He's also having a phenomenal season, having already registered seven sacks on the year.
Giants fans should also pay attention to safety LaMarcus Joyner. If he decides to declare for the draft, his size will likely make him a cornerback conversion. There are a host of other Seminoles defenders who could get looks in the draft or as undrafted free agents: Defensive tackle Everett Hawkins, linebackers Nick Moody, Vance Williams and Christian Jones, and defensive end Brandon Jenkins (currently out with an injury) are all players on defense who could be drafted. On offense the Seminoles have the talented quarterback E.J. Manuel who could be a target for a team in the first round like the Buffalo Bills, though he has to be much more consistent to end up a first-round pick. Running back Chris Thompson is a spark plug. Is he Darren Sproles? Some think he compares favorably to him.
Bottom line, the Florida State Seminoles have a lot of NFL talent.
North Carolina State's player to watch is cornerback David Amerson. He has struggled this year, but people are wondering if he is former Ohio State defensive back and current New Orleans Saints Malcolm Jenkins reincarnated. Is Amerson a player who needs to convert to safety after a successful college career at cornerback? Amerson has struggled this year, but has shown terrific ball skills, especially last year, and is huge for a cornerback listed at 6-foot-3, 194 pounds.
Illinois Fighting Illini at Wisconsin Badgers
The game between Illinois and Wisconsin has three players I want to highlight (though there are more to pay attention to). The first is Wisconsin offensive tackle Ricky Wagner. Wagner is another Badgers' offensive linemen who is a punishing run blocker and a potential first-round pick. Illinois has a terrific pass rush prospect in Michael Buchanan. If you're watching this game pay attention to these two players who could be Giants' targets.
The Fighting Illini also have a talented defensive tackle, Akeem Spence, who is considered a first-round prospect by some (I don't think he's a first-round prospect, however).
Nebraska at Ohio State
The big name in this game is Ohio State defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins. If the Giants are selecting Hankins that'll be bad news for Giants fans as he could be a top 10 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. I think Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner is a player the Giants could consider if Martellus Bennett ends up leaving the Giants after the season.
For the Nebraska Cornhuskers I'm just going to point out how underrated I find running back Rex Burkhead to be. I don't think he'll be a Pro Bowl caliber running back or anything, but he's a very solid player and there is a place for him in the NFL.
Thoughts? Which prospects will you be watching this weekend?